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Old 06-26-2007, 04:23 PM   #1
jerly
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Default Wort Chillers

I know this topic has been debated to death, but I wanted to know from people who have used both a cfc and the Shirron plate chiller what they think. I hear people talking about being worried with the sanitation of the Shirron, but has anyone that actually owns one really had a problem with it?

I've found materials so that I could build a cfc for around $45, and the Shirron chiller for $80 plus shipping. If you've used both, would it be worth the extra $40 or so dollars? (In your opinion.)

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Old 07-01-2007, 02:07 PM   #2
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My guess is there's a pretty small set of people who have used both, which is why you're not getting responses. There are a number of threads about the Shirron that should help you decide if you think its worth the extra $50-ish.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=32932
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=26560
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=18905
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=23393



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Old 07-01-2007, 07:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerly
I hear people talking about being worried with the sanitation of the Shirron, but has anyone that actually owns one really had a problem with it?
I think it's more theory than practice. Yes, you can get hop debris/trub/whatever in there and yes, one of the two most common places for infections to set up shop in a brewery is in the heat exchanger.

That said, I've been using the Shirron plate chiller for almost 2 years now with no problems whatsoever. No infected batches, no DMS problems, nothing. I have a HopStopper in my kettle that keeps the hop debris and trub out of the chiller and I back-flush the chiller immediately after all the wort gets to the fermenters. I also regularly run a hot Oxyclean solution or boiling water through it just as a maintenance thing. I use some QDs to make connecting it and backflushing it easy, works like a charm.

I used to use a CFC...the Chillus Convolutus. As far as cooling efficiency or times, I haven't noticed a huge jump in efficiency but that's a pretty big CFC. I used a homemade one CFC a few years ago, I think the inner line was 3/8". The Shirron definitely would've beat out that one, hands down. In the summer I still gate the flow through the chiller back to maintain a good output temp. The Shirron is more compact and allowed me to hard-plumb the pump to the chiller and out.

Here's how I have mine set up:

Pic 1

Pic 2

As far as the extra cash goes, it really depends on what you're looking for, how you're planning on building the CFC and what matters most to you.
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Old 07-02-2007, 02:57 AM   #4
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Hey FireBreather, I just curious why you have a ball valve on both the inlet and outlet to the plate chiller.

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Old 07-02-2007, 01:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
Hey FireBreather, I just curious why you have a ball valve on both the inlet and outlet to the plate chiller.
I only run wort through the chiller when it's headed to the fermenter. Having the ball valve on the inlet allows me to use the pump to recirculate the mash, transfer sparge water from HLT to MT, transfer wort to the kettle, etc. through the connection you see off the tee just off the pump.
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Old 07-02-2007, 03:00 PM   #6
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Right, I understand, but wouldn't the ball valve off the T serve the same purpose for throttling the flow through the chiller as the one on the output of the chiller? Do you have to throttle the flow on the chiller output to keep it full or something? Sorry, I'm just trying to understand. I want to go to a pump + plate chiller soon.

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Old 07-02-2007, 07:27 PM   #7
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I actually did just use that as you describe, no ball valve on the output, thinking that it'd fill from the bottom and would essentially accomplish the same goal. Seems like it cools a little better by restricting the flow on the output though. Maybe it's the full pressure of the pump in the chiller and not being decreased by the valve on the intake. That's been my experience with it anyhow, YMMV.

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Old 07-02-2007, 08:55 PM   #8
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Cool, thanks. I'll try to remember that.

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Old 07-02-2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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I was wondering what type of cleaning procedures various chillers need. Someone earlier in this thread mentioned back flushing, I have even heard of people storing CFCs with sanitizer in them. I'm curious if you flush them out how you would prevent nastiness from growing in the damp, dark hoses, etc... Thanks.

-Dixon

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Old 07-02-2007, 11:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
Cool, thanks. I'll try to remember that.
No problem.


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